Home Nutrition The Optavia Program: energy, coaches, and chik’n.

The Optavia Program: energy, coaches, and chik’n.

The Optavia Program: energy, coaches, and chik’n.


This sincere Optavia assessment is an opinion piece primarily based on present literature and my findings, in addition to the firsthand expertise of a earlier Optavia coach. 

I’ve been requested by many individuals – and Ladies’s Well being Journal, really – to do an sincere Optavia assessment. Apparently it’s STILL super-popular and going round social media like wildfire, so I assumed I’d revise my unique Optavia assessment. Plus, the corporate simply launched its Optavia program for teenagers, which I’ve quite a bit to say about…simply wait.

One of many individuals who requested me to write down about this program messaged me on Fb and informed me her whole expertise with it firsthand. Sadly, her account was stunning, however not all that stunning, since I’ve heard of the cult-like behaviour and high-pressure gross sales techniques that exist in these MLM corporations. I’m together with bits of this lady’s story, in her personal phrases, on this Optavia assessment. 

What’s Optavia?

You could have heard of the Medifast program, which is a brick and mortar-based weight reduction program. Optavia, alternatively, is the web-based model of Medifast, full with entry to ‘coaches’. Optavia has been round for the reason that Eighties, and forgive me for saying this, it seems to not have up to date their diet philosophy since then. You’ll see what I imply on this put up. 

Reducing to the chase, Optavia is a low calorie weight-reduction plan, plain and easy. There are a few configurations for this system, however all of them contain consuming Optavia ‘fuelings’ aka pre-prepared meals which might be shipped to your door, plus one or two ‘Lean and Inexperienced’ meals, every of which include three servings of inexperienced greens and 5-7oz protein.

Chances are you’ll get one snack relying on which program you’re on. As a result of my supply tells me that it’s the preferred configuration, I’m specializing in the 5 and 1 program, which is 5 fuelings and 1 Lean and Inexperienced meal. Contemporary fruit shouldn’t be on the plan, and neither is dairy. 

It’s necessary to notice that vegetarians will discover their fueling selections restricted on Optavia, and vegans won’t be able to comply with the weight-reduction plan in any respect, for the reason that fuelings comprise lanolin.

No matter which program you select, you’re nonetheless consuming at the least three Optavia-branded meals a day. You’ll get 6 small meals a day, each 2-3 hours. My supply tells me: “One factor I actually keep in mind is having to set the timer of once I would get to eat again- I used to be so hungry! You’re instructed to eat each 2 1/2 to three hours and I don’t eat that a lot now and I’m not hungry like I used to be once I was consuming their meals.”

Even with 6 ‘small meals’ a day, it’s no marvel that she was hungry:

Fuelings vary from bars and shakes, to unappetizing-looking entrees like chili and ‘homestyle chik’n noodle’ soup.

The diet stats per fueling common:

32-35 gram weight

12 grams of protein

8-12 grams of carbs

100-110 energy. 

Many have round 6 grams of sugar per serving. 

To present you a greater thought of how small the fuelings are, most of them weigh between 32 and 35 grams. An ordinary granola bar weighs 46 grams; a small apple is 186 grams. One packet of the ‘Rustic Tomato Herb Penne’ fueling is 34 grams and 110 energy, main me to imagine that the packet (which is $3) comprises roughly 4 items of pasta and a tablespoon of sauce.

Even with 5 of them a day, you’re nonetheless consuming little or no precise meals. The truth is, the 5 and 1 program gives between 800 and 1000 energy per day. For comparability, the 4 and a couple of and 1 program gives 1100-1300 energy per day. The three and three program gives 1200-1500 energy per day. 

Including within the protein from the Lean and Inexperienced meal, Optavia customers on the 5 and 1 program are getting round 100 grams of protein per day, which for a 220 pound individual is 1.0 grams/kg; for a 150 lb individual, it’s 1.5 grams/kg.

This will not be sufficient to be muscle-sparing throughout weight reduction. The very last thing you need is to burn extra muscle than it’s a must to, as muscle is what retains our metabolic charge buzzing. (Learn my put up, How A lot Protein Do We Want Each Day? right here)

This particular record of Optavia snacks for five and 1 reads like a weight-reduction plan plan from a Nineteen Seventies copy of Vogue journal. In different phrases, when ravenous your self to shed extra pounds was not solely acceptable, however inspired.

SUGAR FREE GUM IS NOT A SNACK. NONE OF THESE IS A SNACK (aside from the nuts, however double the quantity)

honest optavia review

What Does Optavia Declare?

Optavia claims that their weight-reduction plan is low sufficient in carbohydrate that fats will grow to be an individual’s predominant gasoline supply. In different phrases, they’re claiming that being on the Optavia program places your physique into what they name ‘mild’ ketosis. 

I wasn’t conscious that there have been totally different types of ketosis to select from: you’re both in it, otherwise you’re not. It’s not like shopping for a mattress the place you possibly can select gentle, medium, or laborious. 

The factor is, that the Optavia plans present between 80 and 100 grams of carbohydrate a day, which is much an excessive amount of carb to place most individuals into ketosis. Ketogenic diets typically comprise 5-10% of their energy from carbs.

When you’re consuming 1000 energy on the Optavia program, 5-10% of that’s 50-100 energy, which equals 12.5-25 grams of carbs. Some individuals can eat greater than that and obtain ketosis, however 100 grams a day? Unlikely.

So what are you burning? Fats, positive – however most likely a good bit of muscle, too.

The Analysis Behind Optavia

The truth that Optavia – or slightly, its sister weight-reduction plan Medifast, has precise analysis behind it’s one thing I don’t see fairly often. 

Optavia claims that it helps individuals lose extra weight than different diets.

Truthful sufficient, however that’s solely half of the story, and right here’s the opposite half: There are round 9 analysis research that Medifast has been part of, the comply with up time was by no means longer than 12 months, aside from in a single case, when comply with up was carried out after 86 weeks.

That exact examine discovered that on the 86-week mark, most if not all members had put again all of their misplaced weight aside from 3 kilos. 

A 2016 examine on Medifast printed within the journal Weight problems discovered that topics misplaced 12 kilos in 12 weeks, however additionally they took Phentermine, which is an amphetamine-type weight reduction drug. Main confounding variable. 

The dropout charge in that examine was 80 %, which is undoubtedly an enormous dropout charge for any examine. Nevertheless, it’s in keeping with lots of the Medifast research, which noticed big attrition.

Folks drop out for a wide range of causes, however we’ve got to think about that the weight-reduction plan was simply too troublesome for lots of the members in these research to comply with long-term (or quick time period). The opposite frequent commentary in lots of the research was weight regain after the dieters started growing their calorie ranges. 

So to sum issues up right here, the Medifast analysis research inform us mainly what we’d anticipate to see with low-calorie, pre-packaged meals diets. It’s an antiquated weight-reduction plan idea from a bygone period the place we didn’t perceive the damaging results of diets like this to somebody’s relationship with meals and with themselves.

Simply give individuals every little thing, make them depending on this system and its meals, and preserve them hooked for all times. No mindfulness, no holistic focus, no appreciation for meals, no schooling about self-manage. So ’80s. They even suggest low-fat margarine over butter of their meal plans.

And so far as their ‘extra weight misplaced’ claims, who cares how a lot weight an individual loses if they will’t preserve that weight off? Isn’t that the purpose of losing a few pounds? 

Right here’s the ‘transition plan’ for Optavia, which finally ends up being below 1500 energy for everybody. The truth that the weight-reduction plan really provides individuals an 850-1050 calorie funds is extraordinarily problematic:

honest optavia review

How A lot Does Optavia Value?

Optavia begins at round $425 a month. That’s some huge cash, particularly held up in opposition to the month-to-month price of contemporary meals for one individual. 

Optavia Teaching

When you comply with me on Twitter or Fb, you’ve most likely seen my posts about unqualified individuals teaching and/or counselling others about diet. Whereas it occurs quite a bit, it’s a seedy follow that’s ineffective at finest and harmful at worst. (Learn my put up on the problems with MLM coaches right here)

Dropping pounds is much more than ‘eat much less and work out extra’, and to be efficient at serving to individuals on their weight reduction journey, it’s essential be well-versed in counselling methods, to not point out have a great grasp of physiology and diet science.

It’s protected to say that hastily-recruited Optavia coaches don’t have any of these issues, making the teaching facet of the enterprise really about cash and never about serving to individuals. Shameful. And the extra individuals they recruit for this system, the more cash the coaches make.

With Optavia, ‘coach’ additionally equals ‘salesperson’. It goes with out saying: You also needs to not be earning profits from promoting merchandise to the individuals you’re teaching. AHEM battle of curiosity *cough* *cough*

My supply had quite a bit to say about Optavia teaching:

“You’re hounded from the begin to grow to be a coach. You’re informed that you’re 5x extra prone to preserve the burden off in the event you’re a coach. The lady who coached me was solely on this system 10 days earlier than she grew to become a coach.

Conventions are held in fancy accommodations just like the Gaylord in Nashville. Awards are given out for the way far you advance within the firm. You’re additionally informed which you can spend not more than 5 minutes with a consumer.

My buddy and I had been doing this system collectively and we all the time talked about how we might by no means ask (our coach) any questions. The entire dialog was about how a lot weight have you ever misplaced and it’s essential grow to be a well being coach. 

Once I did grow to be a well being coach then my coach had hours to assist me arrange my enterprise. To grow to be a coach you purchase a $199.00 enterprise equipment and take a brief quiz. To grow to be an authorized coach you are taking a at some point class via Villanova college after which you might be COPE licensed and also you earn more money. They’d additionally supply the category at conventions.”

I had the prospect to take a look at one of many coaching movies on YouTube, and it was rudimentary at finest. A one-day class instructing individuals be a coach is embarrassingly poor preparation.

I’m positive they don’t care although – they lure individuals to grow to be ‘licensed’ coaches not solely via pressuring them, but additionally via financial incentive. When you’re an authorized coach, you earn more money from Optavia. 

She went on to explain to me how she felt pressured to make more cash with the corporate:

“They’d have zoom calls and so forth to find out how to make more cash,.They tried to persuade me to stop instructing and go full time. One of many coaches would stroll round his multimillion greenback home along with his hat on backwards telling you the way to make more cash. By no means stated a phrase about how wealthy he was, however you positive noticed it.”


The Risks of Very Low Calorie Diets

Whereas most often Optavia doesn’t qualify as a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Weight-reduction plan), the 5 and 1 and 4 and a couple of and 1 are low sufficient that they will trigger some critical points in some individuals.

Except for the emotional uncomfortable side effects reminiscent of guilt and disgrace round meals, very low calorie diets could cause gallstones, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, metabolic slowing, obsession with meals, and melancholy. They’ll additionally trigger rebound weight acquire, which Optavia seems to do. And let’s not neglect HUNGER.

Good day, are you able to eat 1000 or fewer energy a day for weeks on finish? I actually couldn’t. It’s punishing. Even 1300 energy a day, as is obtainable on the 4 and a couple of and 1 program, is extraordinarily troublesome for most individuals to maintain. 

The Optavia weight-reduction plan is supposed to be adopted till you attain your aim weight, at which level you possibly can transition off of it.

Good luck with that; my supply says that this system is ‘addictive’, not solely due to the burden loss, but additionally the comfort of getting pre-made meals.

What good is a program that doesn’t educate individuals make their very own whole-food selections? That doesn’t educate individuals grocery store and cook dinner for themselves? That continues to earn cash off of individuals eternally and ever? 

That’s proper: I received a maintain of an Optavia ‘transition’ meal plan, meant for after you’ve reached your aim weight. It has meal plans for weeks 1-8, and I used to be scandalized to see that even at week 8 and past, they’re STILL recommending that individuals eat three Optavia fuelings a day ‘to regulate energy’. So that you’re by no means actually freed from this program.

BRU-TAL. It’s a ca$h cow that simply retains on giving…to the individuals promoting it, that’s.

Emotionally and socially, what’s it going to really feel like if you’re restricted to Optavia prefab meals whereas everybody round you is consuming contemporary meals? That’s a vital consideration and one that may straight impression your means to stay on this system.

The brand new Optavia for Teenagers program

I can’t imagine Optavia has now tailored this program for youngsters between the ages of 13-18, however right here we’re.

optavia for teens
‘Lifelong transformation’? In a foul method, possibly.

There are two Optavia for teenagers plans to select from. Ladies and boys have separate applications, however they’re mainly the identical.

“Get Wholesome Now,” which is a 1600 calorie program (with fewer carbs).

“Regular as You Develop,” with 1800 energy, is supposed for weight upkeep.

optavia for teens

As you possibly can see, the Optavia for teenagers plans use loads of Optavia packaged meals, and are fairly particular in that carbs are restricted and ‘generally meals’ like a chocolate chip cookie that’s 2 1/4 inches throughout are solely to be eaten lower than 3 times every week.

optavia for teens
There may be completely NOTHING okay about this. NOTHING.

Weighing and measuring and limiting aren’t the best way to show a child to eat healthily and to have a great relationship with meals.

It’s laborious for me to search out the phrases to explain how a lot I need to scream proper now. Placing teenagers on a weight-reduction plan is a horrible thought. Interval. And in case your teen for some motive must shed extra pounds, they need to be supervised by a pediatric dietitian, not an ‘impartial Optavia coach’ who doesn’t know their ass from their eyeballs.

In accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics – which I belief excess of Optavia – teenage women want round 2200 energy a day, and teenage boys, 2800. These youngsters are STILL GROWING and wish ample diet, to not point out good function fashions for consuming and a wholesome perspective in the direction of meals and their our bodies.

In case your baby is chubby, they could be consuming far in extra of their caloric wants. As a substitute of knee-jerk reacting and shopping for them Optavia, possibly meet your child the place they’re. Which means getting an expert concerned.

Placing your child on a weight-reduction plan is rarely the reply, and there are tens of millions of adults who can affirm that with their experiences (oh hey, Weight Watchers).  Analysis additionally tells us that youngsters who weight-reduction plan usually tend to acquire weight, and weight-reduction plan as adults. Additionally they undergo emotionally – adults who had been inspired to weight-reduction plan as youngsters (aka placed on a weight-reduction plan) report decrease self-worth and physique satisfaction, in addition to extra depressive signs. 

This plan is doubtlessly the start of a lifetime of dysfunctional consuming for any teen that’s placed on it.

Please don’t put your baby on Optavia for teenagers or another weight-reduction plan.

OPtavia assessment: briefly

Optavia is a low-calorie weight-reduction plan that depends on pre-packaged meals, tiny parts, and unqualified ‘coaches’. It seems, in response to the analysis, that many individuals regain the burden they misplaced on this program, in the event that they don’t drop out of it earlier than that.

The monetary, emotional, social, and presumably bodily prices of Optavia look like very excessive. Particularly for teenagers. Please don’t.

For a greater likelihood of preserving your relationship with meals and your self, and sustaining your well being and wholesome weight for you, concentrate on selecting extra entire meals and caring for your bodily and emotional well being. When you need assistance, rely solely on individuals who really know what they’re speaking about with regards to diet (like registered dietitians).

Exhausting go on the Optavia program. 



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